Bridge

IT WILL GIVE THREE IF YOU RE­TURN ONE

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - by Phillip Alder

Jack Welch, for­mer chair­man and CEO of Gen­eral Elec­tric and a bridge player, said, “Num­ber one, cash is king ... num­ber two, com­mu­ni­cate ... num­ber three, buy or bury the com­pe­ti­tion.”

At the bridge ta­ble, num­ber one, make or break the con­tract ... num­ber two, com­mu­ni­cate with your part­ner ... num­ber three, bury the op­po­si­tion.

To­day’s deal has el­e­ments of that, but also three and one are rel­e­vant -why? South is in three notrump. West leads his fourth-high­est heart, and East puts up the king. What should de­clarer do?

South’s three-notrump re­bid shows some 18-20 high-card points, at least six di­a­monds, in prin­ci­ple stop­pers in the two un­bid suits and of­ten a sin­gle­ton in re­spon­der’s suit. (It is a hand too strong for one di­a­mond one spade - three di­a­monds.)

South ap­par­ently starts with eight top tricks: four spades, two hearts (given trick one) and two di­a­monds. He can also es­tab­lish three or four more di­a­mond win­ners. But to col­lect all of those spade tricks, how does de­clarer get into the dummy?

The temp­ta­tion is to cash the top di­a­monds and as­sume that the queen will drop, which it is sup­posed to do 58 per­cent of the time. Note, though, that if de­clarer can win six di­a­mond tricks, he has nine tricks via one spade, two hearts and six di­a­monds. But just in case the di­a­mond queen will not drop, South should be will­ing to sac­ri­fice one trick to get the three spade win­ners in re­turn.

Af­ter win­ning trick one and cash­ing the spade ace, de­clarer should lead his di­a­mond 10 or nine. If East ducks, South has six di­a­mond tricks. If East wins, the di­a­mond jack is a dummy en­try.

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